Whitepapers, case studies and advertorials strengthen bonds with existing customers and capture new prospects, too. Because this material is considered educational and editorial rather than promotional, readers are less skeptical that they’re being sold to and are more receptive to your message. Although some overlap in technique and appearance, each piece has distinctive characteristics and serves a singular function.
Generating the content for these three sales tools is one thing, but how do you energize your audience to download or request them? By embracing both classic and contemporary media channels. Here are eight ways:
1. E-mail. Send an e-blast promotion about a timely whitepaper to your list. Downloading the report within minutes should be a key benefit in your copy. Offering it for a limited time or including a countdown clock will drive urgency.
2. Twitter. Post a short benefit statement (for a whitepaper) or a news angle (for an advertorial) or a provocative question (for a case study) and a link where the material can be downloaded.
3. Press releases. Editors still write stories from news releases. A whitepaper explaining a new methodology or an intriguing advertorial could garner press coverage.
4. Squeeze page. When prospects come to your Web site, are they greeted with a squeeze page that collects their name and e-mail address? Consider inserting one and sweetening the pot with a free whitepaper or case study as a welcome gift. This is a great way to collect basic demos and sets up the potential for more downloads.
5. Affiliate marketing. Put external ads about your whitepaper or advertorial topic in e-zines and other electronic publications with prospects similar or identical to yours.
6. Videos. The fastest-growing segment of online advertising, videos let you build a whole story around a whitepaper, case study or advertorial with live action urgency. They can be installed on your brand’s Web site or on popular sites like YouTube.
7. Presentations. Offer to speak at a seminar or luncheon, build enthusiasm for the whitepaper or advertorial topic and then, agree to send it to anyone who gives their contact information.
8. Articles. Write articles that contain genuinely valuable content—then use the resource box at the end to direct readers to your Web site where they can download the whitepaper, case study or advertorial.